Question for Attorney Carbone: I’m a Domestic Violence Victim. What Legal Remedies Are Available to Me?
Question: My sister has finally left her abusive husband after 17 tumultuous years. He is currently sitting in a jail cell awaiting sentencing for domestic violence charges. She’s afraid he’s not going to spend much time in jail and she will wind up under his thumb as soon as he gets out. Is there anything else she can do legally to get this guy out of her life once and for all?
Attorney Carbone Says…
We’re sorry to hear about your sister’s abuse. Here at the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we don’t take domestic violence lightly and will do anything we can to help the victim with his/her case.
It’s a question we get a lot — what legal remedies are available to domestic violence victims? Obviously, there’s the criminal aspect — getting a restraining order and filing criminal charges. But you can also file civil charges against your abuser. The first thing your sister should do is file a restraining order against her husband. Even though he’s in jail at the moment, as soon as he gets out, they could get back together and the abuse will begin again. A restraining order will protect her from his abuse.
Your next concern is taking care of the family. If the domestic violence victim is married to his/her abuser, then divorce proceedings should be the next step. You will also want to consider child custody and support payments.
Once the family’s future is secure, the domestic violence victim may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against your abuser. For example, let’s say your abuser had broken your arm. The break was severe enough that you needed surgery. Of course, the procedure stuck you with a large hospital bill. Since the break was caused by your abuser, under New Jersey law you will be able to file a suit against your attacker for damages.
Your best option is to speak with an experienced domestic violence attorney. Contact Anthony Carbone for a free consultation.